Independent Study

Graduate independent study courses (500) enable students to pursue educational experiences that are unavailable through regular graduate courses listed in the catalog.


  • The content of a Directed Independent Study course, and the reason for requesting it, must be detailed in a Directed Independent Study Contract developed by the student and instructor (graduate faculty member). Before the Contract is submitted to the Graduate School, it must be approved by both the instructor (graduate faculty member) who will direct the study and the graduate program advisor.
  • The scope and rigor of a Directed Independent Study proposal must equal or exceed those of regular graduate courses offered in the department.
  • The intellectual demands of the proposed study must be equivalent to those of graduate courses carrying equal credit in the department.
  • No more than ten credits of Directed Independent Study may be applied toward satisfying degree requirements without additional approval from the Graduate School. Some programs may have further restrictions.
  • Directed Independent Study credit is normally not awarded for work the student is paid to do.

The Independent Study Contract and Registration Approval is available as an E-sign form.

If you have questions, contact your graduate program adviser or the Graduate School.

Page Updated 11.22.2017